TEAM BAHRAIN MERIDA Presentation during training camp on Hvar in Croatia
Wednesday, December 12th 2018 – The biggest news at the Team presentation for the season 2019 was the announcement of the new joint venture partner McLaren. Journalists from all over the world, guests, sponsors, partners, as well as hosts of the training camp gathered in the spectacular venue in the historic building Arsenal in Hvar.
Opening speech was held by Vladimir Miholjević, sports director and coordinator of the training camp who welcomed everyone and expressed gratitude to Hvar Tourist Board, The City of Hvar and Sunčani Hvar Hotels, partners that contributed already for the 2nd time in a row for the organisation of team’s training camp. He emphasised that the island of Hvar with its perfect natural conditions and infrastructure for cycling proved to be an excellent choice for the training camp. Vladimir concluded his speech: “We promise you that we will give everything that you can be proud on our success and believe us we really want to live up to our slogan – It’s not about me, it’s about US – because we feel that everybody present here it’s part of us.”
In the first part of the event hosts expressed their welcome to the 2nd Training Camp in their beautiful Dalmatia and island Hvar. Representative of Sunčani Hvar Hotels Mrs. Renata Lichtberger said that it is a pleasure and privilege to host again TEAM BAHRAIN MERIDA in Hotel Amfora. “We are very happy to be part of Team Bahrain Merida project and to tell our guests that we are the destination that’s working on sport, on developing island for the sport events on the highest level.”
Mayor of Hvar, Mr. Rikardo Novak, thanked the team for choosing again Hvar and said that it is a great honor to host the UCI WorldTour cycling team, BAHRAIN MERIDA, especially since quite a lot of members come also from this region. This year is 150th anniversary of organised tourism on island Hvar and representatives of Hvar Tourist Board and Split-Dalmatia County added that such events contribute to the image of the destination as perfect for active tourism and important part of growing a cycling tourism, which has been one part of the vision for tourism development of the island Hvar and the whole Split-Dalmatia County.
Director of Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board said Mr. Joško Stella said: ”We are having in Dalmatia County more than 3000 km of biking roads. We have different tourisms, gastronomy tourism and the most important we are 2ndcounty by tourism in Croatia.”
Representative of Perfect of Split – Dalmatia County Mr. Stipe Čogelja expressed satisfaction the team is back in island Hvar and he wished the team a big success in the next season.
Ministry of Tourism’s State Secretary, Mr. Tonči Glavina said: ”Something we had always been good in Croatia is hospitality, Croatia is a tourist star in the past decade and the combination of hospitality, beauty of the landscape, gastronomy, culture, sun, wine, sea, cycling and sport tourism. All of this elements makes Croatia wonderful and wanted.”
The second part of the press conference was focused on BAHRAIN MERIDA Team, it’s bike manufacturer and title sponsor Merida and announcement of the new joint venture partner McLaren.
Brent Copeland, General Manager of the team, presented in figures season 2018 which was very successful for the team with 26 wins and announced plans for the future and commented his view of the new joint venture: ” In my view this is one of the most important developments in world professional cycling in the last decade, and one that will accelerate the team’s ambitions and plans to compete at the top. McLaren can help us understand how to optimize and develop technology, human high performance management, and our brand. Most importantly, how to do that in an integrated, coordinated way.”
Andreas Rottler, General Manager Merida Europe commented satisfaction with the first two seasons and new project of the team: “New partnership with McLaren will open up new possibilities for the team and of course for MERIDA BIKES. This is an exciting new development that will further add to our motivation to provide the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM with state-of-the-art equipment for every single race on the calendar.”
John Allert, Chief Marketing Officer, McLaren officially announced a start of a new joint venture with TEAM BAHRAIN MERIDA and he said: “Cycling has been a sector of great interest to McLaren in recent years, and it was a case of believing that the right circumstances would eventually evolve that made sense for us to launch into this incredible sport. We come into this world with great humility and respect for the sport and the competition. We will play our part in contributing to a sport loved and enjoyed by millions globally. We are competitors and extracting maximum performance from the combination of human and machine is our natural world. We have been involved at the highest level before although in a more limited way in a shorter timeframe. So cycling is a natural step for us to take. Finally, but most importantly, it was the vision on two brothers, Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Salman, that created this opportunity to unite their two dreams and make the sum of the parts greater than the whole.”
In the third part of the presentation BAHRAIN MERIDA riders joined on stage in five groups where the 5thgroup was the presentation of the 8 new riders with Rohan Dennis, Phil Bauhaus, Damiano Caruso, Marcel Sieberg, Andrea Garosio, Jan Tratnik, Stephen Williams and Dylan Teuns.
Vincenzo Nibali revealed his racing plan for season 2019 which is to do “double”. He will race Giro d’italia and Tour de France. Dylan Teuns a new rider in our team is excited to be a part of it and he would like to achieve his dream which is to win one of the classics. Dennis Rohan, TT World Champion, emphasised that he wants to continue in the rhythm of winnings in Time Trials and to help Vincenzo at Grand Tours.
At the end we showcased the new team kit for the 2019 season. TEAM BAHRAIN MERIDA is definitely ready to face the challenges of the new season and they are already looking forward to the Tour Down Under in the middle of January in Australia.
Photo credits KL Photo